Instead, that match point save helped her complete an unthinkable comeback from 3-6, 1-5 down against Svitolina, as Halep went on to win the match 3-6, 7-6 (6), 6-0 and reach her second Roland Garros semi-final.
But Svitolina suddenly found her range, hitting seven winners and an ace in the last three games before Martic bowed out on the second match point when she sent a backhand into the net.
I expect Halep to be buoyed from the win over Svitolina and to manoeuvre her opponent around the baseline at will.
Martic, ranked 290th in the world after a 10-month injury layoff a year ago, was two points from victory at 5-2, 30-0 on her opponents serve, but Svitolina unleashed a barrage of winners to claim 20 of the last 26 points. "Maybe it was a little bit too late to change, but I did it and I think it brought me to win the match". Also, she can change the rhythm and everything. I just feel the ball now. "She was unlucky in the first set, but I think I was a little bit better still", said Pliskova. "So all is good".
In Saturday's championship match, the 47th-ranked Ostapenko will face Simona Halep of Romania, who got past 2016 U.S. Open runner-up Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 in the second compelling semifinal on a sunny day with the temperature touching 81 degrees (27 Celsius).
Fifth seed Svitolina twice served for the match at 5-2 and 5-4 in the second set and then had match point at 6/5 in the tie-break.
No. 2 Karolina Pliskova vs.
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Having missed so huge advantage, the native of Odessa outright failed the third set and could not for the first time to reach the semi-finals in the tournament series Grand slam. That was a match Halep has blown in the past, and it was nice to see her dig deep and find a way to come through with the victory.
"It's a fact that I'm not playing close to my best, and I know that", Djokovic said after his first straight-set loss at a major since the 2013 Wimbledon final. "She played very well, we were both serving well", said Pliskova after reaching her first semi-final in Paris.
Both have had to pull off some huge upsets to reach this stage of the tournament, but it would be fair to say it didn't almost get as hard as it could have, with seeds being knocked out left, right and centre.